Podcast Season 3 Episode 2


Title: Quincena

In this episode: Ubuntu is going to bundle Qt libraries with its base install. Google will no longer bundle H.264 with Chrome and Firefox 4 will only have limited hardware acceleration. Share our discoveries, try XFCE, and listen to your own conversion stories in our Open Ballot.

What's in the show:

  • News:
      Mark Shuttleworth has announced that Ubuntu is going to try to make room for Qt libraries on the CD distribution. Google has announced that it's dropping H.264 video support from its Chrome platform, in favour of its own WebM. The imminent Firefox 4 will have hardware acceleration, but only through a driver white-list on Linux. And LibreOffice has been released!
  • Discovery of the week:
    • Mike:
      • Geocities-izer is great for some late 90s nostalgia.
      • Fuduntu might be an Ubuntu too many.
      • PCLinuxOS had a brilliant slogan, 'It's like bacon but better'
    • Andrew:
      • The Mandriva distribution is still awesome.
    • Graham:
      • The MidiBox community model is worthy of discussion.
    • Effy:
      • TuxRadar reveals that the Linux community in Latin America is more wide-spread than might otherwise be thought.
  • You Dare Us:
    • Hear us trying to visualise our ideas for our own Linux tablets.
  • In The Dock:
      This time, Mike has 60 seconds to convince us all to use XFCE. Did it work?
  • Open Ballot: have you converted anyone to Linux?

  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save up to 40%

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Efrain Hernandez-Mendoza, Graham Morrison and Mike Saunders.

Subscribe to the TuxRadar Podcast. Choose between Ogg Vorbis and MP3.

Theme Music by Brad Sucks.

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Your comments

my moneys on


Well, have to say oops.

There I was, waiting patiently, and you came through.
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Am now patiently waiting for the download. Or maybe I should upgrade to Broadband?

Unfortunately, it appears that politics here in Australia may put paid to the potential opportunities for a National Broadband network (or NBN in rubbish-speak). May I inquire how yours is shaping up? If I'm mistaken, which I almost certainly am, you were on the path to establishing something like that in the UK? How's it going - or coming - along? No, seriously - I ask merely for information.

Personally, I don't care. It's the kids I worry about. Oh actually, no - I don't care about that either. They'll find their own way.

As my Bhuddha says:
"There is no such thing as a problem
without a gift for you in its hands -
You see problems because
You need their gifts"

The converting the Mom story

After hearing that. I'm going to try harder to convert my mom.
Her Vista laptop has got her terrified to do anything. I get a real sense of "Tail wagging dog" when my Mom talks about her computer. It anger me greatly.

I think the competition should be.
Who can convert the oldest Mom to Linux


3000 camels for a bendy tablet powered by love, BARGIN!!!

really enjoyed the podcast

really enjoyed the podcast yet again. I reckon mark shuttleworth has some grand scheme to get everyone over to QT, what with the inter-OS capabilities and it's also where the mobile and tablet market might be going...

As my 'discovery of the month' I found that a fantastic game call 'liero' has now been made open source, and can be compiled to linux. Failing that, it also works perfectly well in WINE. It's a great game where you play two-player against each other in a worms-like-game, but without the role-playing - i.e. you just try and kill each other as quickly as you can. recommended.

I agree with (was it Mike?) who was put off with the windowsness of linux mint. I much prefer gnomes three menus.

Have just installed libreoffice, and looking forward to the new graphing options...

None too prolific these days...

Since Paul left the podcast, I have nothing on which to comment. I simply agree with everything Mike, Graham, and Andrew have to say...

Would still love to see the occasional mention of Puppy Linux and how about a full blown discussion of Jolicloud? It is easily the best cloud-based distro, and equal to Puppy on netbooks in terms of speed and usability. It is basically IOS meets Ubuntu, and it has the best of both (as long as you are online).

Still waiting for the podcast to

Didn't we plead hard enough? OK, I am down on bended knees with my hands clasped. Pleeeeaaassee...... bring back one more thing. Pretty please, chocolate coated please, with a cherry on top. Please bring back one more thing. How wuold you like it if I

That's what the podcast feels like.

Re: Still waiting for the podcast to

labinnsw, what do you mean? It's right there at 1:05:50, taking up the last two minutes of the podcast :-)


Not paying as much attention as I thought

I went back and listened and the podcast felt 100% better. Thank you.

Good show

I have been going out of my way to try different DE's, Xfce is next. I'm still a bit thorn about what I think. I prefer the look and feel of KDE but the ease of setup in GNOME.

With the pads I would probably go with effys, purely on the fact that the screen is bendable. It being driven by love would give me to many power outages. But over all you all bring up the things I think is currently missing. Not saying that even that would get me to buy one though.

And the challenge is really ace. If my memory serves me right I think I suggested just that during season two, and I can't think of a reason to doubt my own judgment. xD

Not good.

You guys throw around the words "linux community" and claim support it. Why then are you complaining about the existence of Fuduntu? I have never used Fuduntu... but I support any project that scratches their own itch. Essentially you are saying to the Fuduntu maintainers,

"You are wasting your time in your endeavors because there are other projects like yours already. You should pick someone else's project and work on it, instead of your own."

To me, this seems the OPPOSITE of the opensource mentality. Is this REALLY how you want to promote yourself and your podcast/magazine?

I already use XFCE and have

I already use XFCE and have been using it for years. You're good.


Frankly, some things need saying. That Fuduntu is a waste of time and the developers should be contributing to existing projects is their opinion and as far as I'm concerned, perfectly valid. I'm glad that prominent people in the Linux community are willing to say so.

It's not "the opposite of open source mentality", it's just common sense.

LibreOffice splash

By the way Mike, LibreOffice should have a splashscreen when it starts up.

Also you should install LibreOffice using the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:libreoffice/ppa

Apart from installing LibreOffice make sure you install: "libreoffice-gnome" otherwise it looks very ugly!


@Huw - Who are you to dictate terms on what I should contribute to the OSS community? For your information, I do work on other projects too.

Fuduntu is not a waste of time because I and others find it to be useful, and it solves the problem that we set out to solve in building it. If you feel that it is a waste of time, that isn't really my problem; it is your problem. I contribute to what I choose to contribute to, not what you or anyone else demands that I spend my time on.


You might want to read what I wrote again. I didn't express an opinion on Fuduntu, I merely supported the Tuxradar team in expressing *their* opinion. Also, point out where I tried to dictate terms on what you should contribute.


Of course, they have the right to their opinion. They should however show a little respect for those of us that are contributing, even when they don't understand the area in which we are contributing; because the bottom line is that we don't have too.

Perhaps I misread the implication of your second sentence. If so, my apology. My point remains however, even if not directed at you.

Challenge of the week

I must say the challenge this week is the best idea since the 300 baud modem!!!!

Seriously, I know the Linux community is thriving on contributions but this is brilliant. Perhaps even a new regular segment. I would like to add to the challenge that you remain as anonymous as possible (no fair showing off as writers for Linux Format) and at least one of you should focus on making a useful contribution in the shortest amount of time possible. Oh, sorry. I guess you will all being doing that!

Good luck.

Hola a todos

Thanks for another excellent podcast and it was good to hear a new voice (Effy's). Contributing something to an open source project for you dare us is a brilliant idea - the best one since the game- and music-writing. And no slacking please, Mr Gregory! There are plenty of projects out there would benefit from your wordsmithery without the need for coding.
As for Fuduntu: I generally applaud your irreverent attitude but I did think you were a bit harsh. Have you actually tried it out yet? It recently got an excellent review in another lesser Linux mag and does sport some innovative features (as well as a terrible name). Would you have offered similar advice to Mark Shuttleworth a few years ago? 'What do you think of this, guys? A new distro based on DEBIAN! Has anyone ever done this before?'

Re: Fuduntu

Fewt, natex and co:

Of course the "open source mentality" allows people to start their own projects. I would never want that to end. However, I think it's better when developers work TOGETHER, especially when they're ultimately targeting the same users. In this case, there are already countless netbook-optimised distros out there, and it'd be so much better if developers tried to work together on the same goal, rather than starting entirely new distros every day.

In ten years of writing about Linux, having read thousands of forum threads, I know that the vast, bewildering array of mostly identical desktop-focused distros is a HUGE obstacle for new users. They get confused by all the names, they wonder why they all do the same thing, and it's harder to get documentation as it's scattered all over the place.

I've seen SO many users put off from taking Linux seriously because of this. I've seen many battle to get something working and end up embroiled in debates about whether Distro A or Distro B is better for the task (although they're massively duplicating effort). Linux's desktop market share is tiny, and this fragmentation and duplication is a large contributing factor.

That's the hard truth. It's all nice and cheerful to talk about the "open source mentality", and it gives people the warm-fuzzies to have their own little pet distro projects, but ultimately it's a huge source of confusion and a huge duplication of effort. For a real chance on the desktop we need collaboration, not fragmentation.


Another way to think about it perhaps

While I completely agree that sometimes it is better to work on existing projects, it can be incredibly difficult to realize your vision if you don't start from scratch. In my case, my vision is to build a full desktop experience on a portable / netbook. I don't care about netbook remix interfaces, or jolicloud, or meego. That doesn't mean that I don't wish them to be successful, because I certainly do. They just solve different problems than the one that I am choosing to tackle.

None of the existing distributions for portables really fit my vision of what a Linux distribution for portables should look and feel like other than Aurora which I happen to also contribute too. The way that I have designed my particular desktop, there isn't a lot of re-work by design. I maintain a strict set of packages and under the hood the remaining packages are pulled from the Fedora project.

I completely agree, most distros do the same thing. How many though give you a licensed copy of flash out of the box? How many give you incredible battery life out of the box by altering the kernel parameters when you pull the power cord? How many boot using only 128MB of memory with a full GNOME desktop? How many give you the ability to join a Windows domain out of the box?

These are some of the areas where I have tried to be different than everyone else, but there are many more. I want an out of the box experience that just works as well as an OEM Windows would, that is my goal.

Sure, choosing a new Linux distribution can be confusing and outright daunting task to new users. I don't think Fuduntu really adds to that confusion. :D


@TuxRadar should have been on the subject line, not the name line. Sorry 'bout that, not enough coffee. :/


Valid points, and you certainly have a clearer set of goals than many spin-off distros, so I can understand where you're coming from. Still, would it be possible to make Fuduntu a customisation script for Fedora? ie it adds/removes repos and packages, does the kernel tweaks you mention, modifies Gnome settings with gconf etc.

There was a script for Ubuntu when the original Eee 701 came out, which customised the distro for that netbook. Various Eee-specific distros also appeared, but I found the script a simpler approach that built on existing work.



It is possible, yes and I have thought about that. I think that would be more difficult for a new (Linux) user to figure out a script than to have it all available out of the box.

For example, a new user that downloads Fedora wouldn't know that the script exists, how to find it, how to run it, or where to go if it doesn't work right.

I have a lot of packages that only exist in my repository for example; Likewise Open, Infinality Freetype (with Fuduntu specific patches), Nautilus elementary (which I ported from Ubuntu), Plymouth (with Fuduntu specific patches), Jupiter, Adobe Flash, Fluendo MP3 Codec, xorg-x11-synaptics, Faenza and a lot of others.

I could add my repositories to a script, and apply my tweaks and tuning but then, I have made so many changes that it is no longer Fedora so why not roll it up and make it an out of the box experience?

In a nutshell, yes it is definitely possible but I didn't think it would improve the user experience the way that an ISO that you could download, install, and immediately use would. :D

"A Rose by any Other Name..."

I really must protest your summary judgement based on a (purposely) funny name, supposedly in defence of the 'newbies'. Seriously, funnier than Ubuntu? More confusing than the dozen or so Aubuntu, Bubuntu, Cubuntu remixes you have to wade through? Dare I mention MikeOs? I am not quite new at this, and had to really dig to find it, but I was glad I did.

Fuduntu was exactly what I needed. Fedora, with it's arbitrary 1GB ram requirement, would not install on my ageing laptop with only 384Mb. I actually think new users would be very comfortable, everything worked "out of the box',and there is full access to mainstream repositories. I am grateful to those who put so much time and effort in.

I love your podcast, and appreciate the effort you make, but please try more even handed. You come off as a bunch of playground bullies, picking on the new kid with the 'punny' name.

Freedom of expression

I think the Tuxradar guys should be free to express their own personal opinion without getting hassle for it.

To hear personal opinions even if I disagree is more interesting then them saying things the majority of people would agree with!

Yet another way to look at distro fragmentation

"How many give you incredible battery life out of the box by altering the kernel parameters when you pull the power cord?" --Fewt

Say for the sake of argument there are 200 items that any distro needs to work on to have a complete distro.
Say each distro project has 20 developers, and only 20 of those 200 items will be worked on at any given time.
Say each distro chooses a different set of 20 items to work on, and so necessarily, item #78 may not be working in each distro.

Now say there were fewer distros, and therefore, there could be 200 developers for each distro.
Presumably the lower rate of duplicated effort among distros would make each distro better, and achieve those results more quickly.

It's great that in the open source world there is "freedom" to go fix things that you don't think are being addressed, by rolling your own version of _______.
But there can be excesses with anything. And it might be possible that some of those things that you perceive as not being addressed are not being addressed because of the very fragmentation of the developer base.

Imagine if every open source developer out there insisted on only developing his or her own distro. Every distro would have one developer. Presumably each of those distros would be severely crippled versus full-fledged operating systems made by more cohesive developer bases (open source or otherwise), only working on platform X, no GUI, etc, etc.

Lastly, and while I seek to avoid using a broad brush in this characterization, quite frankly many of the arguments I see (online in general, I am not pointing at anyone here) offered by advocates of mass fragmentation just reek of teenage immaturity and are based less on technical merits than on emotional merits.

Perhaps my view is naive in some way or another, but this currently how I see things.

As far as customization scripts and the inability to find them

If there was less ego and more cooperation in the Linux world, along with less fragmentation it might be more likely to establish a single point of entry for the public (facilitated by less fragmentation), something more like a Linux portal, with links to distros and their related customization scripts, etc.


"Distro fragmentation leads to linux acceptance by more new users"

Are you serious? So perhaps it'd be better if we had 50,000 distros? 5 million? Tip: there is only one iPad, and it is selling like mad. Do you think if Apple made 300 different and slightly incompatible iPads (that all required different documentation), their sales would increase? No, they'd collapse under the confusion. There are countless precedents for this.

We geeks might be able to work out the differences, but the mass consumer market just finds it overwhelming and looks for simplicity elsewhere.

"Exactly what is the problem now? Exactly who is not using linux due to the abundance of distro choices?"

How about: the 98% of desktop users who DON'T use Linux? Have you ever asked why Linux's desktop marketshare is still only 2% after so many years? There are several factors, but having read thousands of newbie threads on forums over the last decade, I know that fragmentation and a lack of a cohesive, coherent desktop platform is a major contributor.

If you want to dismiss all these people, that's up to you. But I'd like to see Linux's market share climb beyond minuscule levels, I know what has held it back over the last 10 years, and I'm going to put my head in the sand and ignore users who've tried Linux and gone elsewhere.



"Facts: There are more distros now than ever. There are more new linux users now than ever."

Do you think you're proving something with that statement? Why are the two linked? How do you know there are more Linux users? Market share hasn't increased. And even if there are more Linux users, I'd say it's *despite* the growing number of distros, not because of it.


"Tip: there is only one iPad, and it is selling like mad."

It is also a ridiculously overpriced, environmentally irresponsible, locked-down, sweatshop-assembled, gimmicky lump of ****. Is this what we should be looking up to?!

There is a single entry point for newcomers to Linux, as your recent Open Ballot eloquently demonstrated: U-B-U-N-T-U. This seems to be the line your own magazine has tacitly been taking for some time: this is a good thing. Cut your teeth on that and then go exploring.

Welcome to Linux.

@Tuxradar Support your claims much?

"Are you serious? So perhaps it'd be better if we had 50,000 distros? 5 million?"

I'll quote myself - with emphasis - so my words aren't misrepresented... "(REAL, NOT THEORETICAL EXTREME) Distro fragmentation leads to linux acceptance ..."

Hyperbolics aside... How about some support for your claim that new users don't use linux due to distro fragmentation. You must be able to support this? Please, no more "I've been around the block and talked to a lot of people" anecdotes, or "common sense". If it's only your opinion, that's fine. State so before you rip a valid project to shreds.

"Tip: there is only one iPad, and it is selling like mad. Do you think if Apple made 300 different and slightly incompatible iPads (that all required different documentation), their sales would increase? No, they'd collapse under the confusion. There are countless precedents for this."

Countless eh? Name some.... Oh, like Android? Anyway, I thought we were talking about desktop OSs. Apples. Oranges. Sticking to the subject, one thing to remember is that desktop linux is trying to create market share in a market that is already severely established. *Opinion alert* Innovation, not consolidation is needed.

My real beef with you, is that you claimed Fuduntu was reinventing the wheel, when it is obvious that you didn't give the project a fair chance. "Might be an Ubuntu too many." Really? Did you even check out their website? Be honest. Don't you agree you were too hasty? You could have at least linked to a fair review. Tip: Distrowatch podcast (twice).

CHALLENGE: Finally and most to the point. Mike, would you please provide us a list of the many Fedora based netbook OSs? You're allowed to search Distrowatch and Google. Actually, to save space, why don't you narrow that down to the few hundred of those distros that automatically come with stuff that Fuduntu comes with, like Flash, and pretty fonts, and MP3 out of the box (you know... stuff new users might like).

Comment sections have a bad rep...

... but this one by far deserves to be read.

I have never, and this isn't exageration, been so amused with a comment section as I have with this one.

I could rant on and on, providing evidence to some people's immaturity/lack of thought. But I'd rather just say this:

Keep it up, I'm lovin' it.

*runs from the McDonald's lawyers*

Linux, it's easier

than stairs. Awesome. I will use that.

Converting XP to Gentoo?

I wonder if I am one of the few people who converted to Linux straight from no coding or scripting knowledge happily running Windows XP to Gentoo? I thought I'd give something new a whirl (this is back from before the GUI Gentoo installer... Perhaps 2003?), and toppled over something called Red Hat. Knowing nothing of Linux including that it wouldn't run exe files, I went to an IRC channel and asked how to install it -- some bloke replied "if you want to start with Linux, you wanna do it right", and pointed me to the huge Gentoo install manual. A week later I had a running system, and after a while knew my way around Linux --- making me a beginner Gentoo user but essentially advanced newBuntu-style Linux user ;)
I guess most people these days go from cozy to cozy?

As a follow up....

In the open ballot I mentioned that my sister was unable to switch to linux because she needed 100% compatibility with ms word for some work - well she has become the first person to actually ask me to install linux on her computer. The reason being was that 'she didn't like virus checkers' as they slowed down her computer, and now her windows xp installation is a complete disaster. Just booting up the computer presents you with a million pop-up errors - not sure whether they are viruses or just windows failing!

Anyway, hopefully ubuntu 10.04 will do the trick for her now...

One more thing or DIE!!!!

Also, love the idea of making the convert corner a regular feature.

Keep up the good work guys!

Great Podcast

Thanks for another great podcast! Thanks all, and keep up the good work.

Cookies for all

When my housemate moved in with me I suggested he try Linux, he declined saying he was a windows baby and never liked linux, I showed him my set up and how easy and usable it is, now he is running Mint 9 on his laptop.

After your podcast I tried XFCE and I really like it, its not bogging down like GNOME and seems snapper executing programs. I also suggested my housemate try it, after showing him how to install he went off and tried KDE instead.

I got no place else to go...

Alright, so I was reading through the Practical PHP tutorial you guys have up. Its a very good tutorial and well thought out with very good explanations and is light hearted enough to be a good read.

I did however find an error and didn't know who I should tell.

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